I bit the bullet and purchased a Horn cabinet with the mechanism to raise and lower the sewing head. I found that I very seldom need to raise the head (just occasionally to use the free arm) so I would probably be just as happy with a cabinet that just had a recessed shelf for the head. But having the bed of the sewing machine flush with the table, with room all around to support the fabric, is great, for piecing as well as for quilting.
Since I purchased my cabinet, I have seen similar cabinets on craigslist at giveaway prices. If I needed to buy another one, that would be where I would look first.